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Microsoft set to launch a smartwatch to rival Android Wear and iWatch

Chris Martin | May 9, 2014
Microsoft is working on a smartwatch and activity tracker focused on health and fitness to rival Android Wear and the rumoured iWatch.

Microsoft is set to release a smartwatch focused on health and fitness to rival the Samsung Gear Fit, according to a patent. Read: The 7 best smartwatches 2014: list of the best smartwatches you can buy right now

Potentially called the Surface Smartwatch, is described in the patent as a 'wearable personal information system' which was filed in 2012. The product makes even more sense now Microsoft has acquired Nokia's Devices and Services business.

The patent stated that the device will feature an optical sensor, electrical connector, and data connector. Microsoft's smartwatch cum fitness tracker will track movement and exercise with a combination of sensors and GPS.

"Users have been forced to connect external heartbeat sensors, for example using a chest strap, to obtain biometric feedback during exercise. The use of multiple components in this manner can be bulky and make exercise awkward. As a result, the adoption of such portable electronic devices during exercise is not as widespread as it could be," says the patent.

The unit will have a screen and can be removed from the band which makes it a smartwatch - to be inserted into other fitness equipment or a docking station for charging.

Although the focus will be on health and fitness, with the ability to measure the user's heart rate, there will be other applications such as a music player, alarm clock, messaging and telephone. It's also possible that Microsoft will load the smartwatch with Bing search and its Siri rival, Cortana.

Microsoft vs Android Wear vs iWatch

If Microsoft does launch its own wearable device, it will have to compete with Google's Android Wear system which will launch on the LG G Watch, and a rumoured Apple iWatch.

When Microsoft will unveil the smartwatch is unclear but it could be as soon as this month. The firm is holding an event in New York on 20 May where it is expected to launch a Surface mini tablet but could also reveal this smartwatch.


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